Hoopoe Curatorial Atul Dodiya Rummana Hussain Vivan Sundaram Secular Practice: Recent Art from India

Date(s): Nov 10 to Dec 15 2001


Secular Practice: Recent Art from India

Reception for Gurudev (6th Gujarati Sahitya Parishad, 1920), 1998

The work of Vivan Sundaram, Rummana Hussain and Atul Dodiya is shown at OBORO as part of Secular Practice: Recent Art from India. Bringing together nine contemporary artists from India and taking place at four Montréal artist-run-centres.

Responding to the reality of living in a rapidly modernising society, the work of the artists in the exhibition addresses issues ranging from freedom of expression, social justice, religious fundamentalism and communal violence to sexuality, women’s rights, the inequities of entrenched class and caste systems, the processes of history and memory and the nature of art itself in these circumstances.

Secular Practice: Recent Art from India

Reception for Gurudev (6th Gujarati Sahitya Parishad, 1920), 1998

Hoopoe Curatorial is a collective that includes Phinder Dulai, a poet and journalist living in Vancouver, and Peter White, an independent writer and curator living in Montréal. London (Ontario) artist Jamelie Hassan was a founding member of the group.

A well known painter in India, Atul Dodiya presents water-colour paintings selected from a major cycle referring to the life of Gandhi and thus evoking tolerance in the sectarian climate of contemporary India. Recently Dodiya’s work was exhibited in London at the Tate Modern and at the Japan Foundation in Tokyo. He lives in Mumbai.

Rummana Hussain was an established modernist painter before the attack on the Babri mosque at Ayodhya in 1993. From that time until her untimely death in 1999, Hussain’s photo-based installations, sculptural fragments, performances and videos examined the tragic dichotomy between home and nation that underlies much of India’s communal problems and the conditions of women in this environment. In addition to India her work has been exhibited internationally at the Tate Modern, Queensland Art Museum in Australia and at Art in General in New York.

A senior artist who works in installation, Vivan Sundaram has been particularly effective at mounting a post-colonialist critique of Indian history from an Indian perspective. In this exhibition, his installation uses digital photography to create a narrative on the relations between different members of his family, including family patriarch Umrao Singh Sher-Gil and Sundaram’s aunt Amrita Sher-Gil, one of the pioneers of modern art in India. Sundaram, whose House/Boat Project was previously mounted and toured in Canada by Oboro, has exhibited widely in India and abroad, including most recently in Budapest at the Ernst Museum. He lives in New Delhi.